Posted by on Jan 6, 2014 in The Faraway Blog | 0 comments

The Hunting Blog -

In Argentina the provinces of Cordoba, Buenos Aires, Entre Rios and La Pampa have the eared dove, the torcaza, in numbers beyond counting. Cordoba is the famous one and may have more than twenty-five million doves, while the total across the continent probably runs into the hundreds of millions. The breeding cycle in a warm climate can run up to six times a year. They are often mixed up with larger wild pigeons, the spot-winged and the picazuro. Compared to doves the latter seem heavy in flight, with a slower wingbeat, but it’s deceptive. There are the usual feral pigeons too, the pombo.

There’s no need for clever hides when hunting here, just a good spot in amongst some tall grass bordering a cut grain field. Decoys laid out to the usual rules — a place to land in the set, facing into the wind — might help, but they aren’t essential. Being on the general drift of a flight path is the main thing. A light gun isn’t as important as one that has light recoil, so a 20-gauge with mild loads is just about ideal.

I enjoyed my stint, and the use of a fine gun didn’t hurt. It turns out doves have a slightly liverish meat that is tasty enough but nobody could possibly use what they shoot. The good news is that leftover game goes to local people, some of whom are pretty hard-up.

Pete Ryan